Thursday, June 14, 2007

These are not the droids you're looking for

I don't think I have all that common a name -- I mean, no, neither my first nor last name are uncommon, but it's not like Mary Smith or something. I haven't always liked my name (people never spell my first name right, my middle name is old-fashioned), although I love it now. I am fascinated by names and love to find out why people have the names they do, and it's always interesting to come across someone who has the same name as you. I remember once being in Grand Central Station in New York City, and the friend I was supposed to meet wasn't able to find me, so she had me paged. And three women, besides me, turned up at the information desk. What are the chances that three other people with my exact name would be in Grand Central Station at the same time? One of them was a stunningly beautiful, tall, elegantly dressed, obviously quite wealthy young woman, and I felt like asking if I could be that "The Singer" for awhile.

So, anyway, when I started getting phone calls about a year ago looking for another The Singer who had been a lawyer here in Ottawa, I was mostly amused. Slightly concerned about the amount of personal information people would leave on my answering machine, detailing their court cases and lawsuits and any manner of privileged information (I always called them back, if they left a number -- which a lot of people didn't! -- to let them know they had the wrong The Singer), but my reaction was basically a "huh, isn't that interesting." It got slightly less amusing when people would bitch me out for not having a forwarding address or contact information for her (what, because there's a big The Singer club out there where we all get together once a week and exchange phone numbers?), or ask me if I could take the time to track her down because it would be a long distance phone call for them but since I was already in the city ... Whatever. It became apparent that this person with my name had up and left suddenly, as many of the people who were calling believed she was still working on their cases, and they were quite distressed to find they suddenly couldn't get in touch with her, so they were calling every The Singer (or T. Singer) in the phone book.

Last night? The collection agencies started calling looking for her. This is suddenly a whole lot less amusing.

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